Skip to content

Category: Bookshare Success Stories

Texas Specialist Finds Successful Reading Strategies to Teach Students with Dyslexia

Finding the right reading solutions for an estimated 2.4 million* American students with a learning disability, like dyslexia, can be difficult. For these students, reading isn’t easy. Brain signals get mixed up, causing an inability to decode and interpret words. Thankfully, many students with learning disabilities are placed in the capable hands of specialists like Leslie Patterson, a Certified Academic Language Therapist and licensed Dyslexia Teacher for Griffis Elementary School in Caddo Mills, Texas. Leslie works with young children, and a critical part of her job is to identify strategies and resources that strengthen their reading comprehension through a multisensory…

Leave a Comment

Son’s Dyslexia Diagnosis Prompts Mom’s Search for Answers

Seth Gast has dyslexia and a language disorder. For three years, he has used Bookshare’s online accessible library for schoolwork and to find Boy Scout manuals to obtain his merit badges and become an Eagle Scout. His mom, Dina Gast, credits his academic progress to a renowned dyslexia center, excellent teachers and tutors, and Bookshare. In recognition of National Dyslexia Awareness Month, here is Seth’s story. Early Reading Frustration Entering first grade, Seth was a bright little boy, but his mom noticed his enthusiasm for school and learning diminish. He liked books, but seemed to be frustrated with reading. A…

Leave a Comment

Denver Administrators Strengthen Reading For Students with Print Disabilities Through Expansion of Bookshare

Denver Academy’s Philippe Ernewein, Director of Education, and Anthony Slaughter, Director of Information Technology, were eager to hear about the progress of Alyssa Campbell. While Alyssa has had a Bookshare Individual Membership for many years, it wasn’t until she entered middle school at Denver Academy that she began reading more textbooks and literature using accessible ebooks with assistive technologies. Alyssa has a documented learning disability that makes it difficult to read traditional print materials. Text-to-Speech Makes Reading Easier Due to her disability, Alyssa could not keep pace with the rigorous reading assignments for her grade level. Her mom, Debbie Campbell, an educator herself,…

Leave a Comment

Parent Partners with School Administrators to Advocate for Accessible Ebooks and Dispel Myths

Deborah Campbell with Denver Academy’s Director of Education, Philippe Ernewein, and Director of IT, Anthony Slaughter When Deborah Campbell volunteered at Denver Academy, she had one mission: to educate teachers and families of children with reading disabilities about the benefits of accessible ebooks and assistive technologies for learning. Mrs. Campbell holds a master of arts degree in curriculum and instruction and has a deep understanding of the education process. Alyssa, her eldest daughter, attends Denver Academy and was diagnosed with a learning disability in second grade. At that time she read at a noticeably slower pace than her peers, and it was difficult…

Leave a Comment

Helping Individuals Who Are Blind Transition to Work Through Training and Accessible Ebooks

September 8th is International Literacy Day, and Bookshare is honoring those individuals and organizations that make a lasting difference to ensure literacy happens for everyone. Each day, Bill Powell, Assistive Technology Director, and his staff at Bosma Enterprises in Indianapolis, provide job training, employment services, rehabilitation, and outreach to help adults who are blind transition to the working world. To accomplish this goal, the team downloads digital accessible books using Bookshare. Bill says, “With the right education, mentors, technology, and resources like accessible books, individuals with disabilities are highly capable of working in many fields, including training and technology, after their schooling.”…

1 Comment

Creating Equal District and Schoolwide Learning Opportunities for Students with Disabilities

Raising academic performance to meet the mandates of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is a critical mission for school leaders, yet finding solutions to accommodate diverse student populations across districts and schools can be overwhelming and costly. Students with learning disabilities or visual impairments, for example, have difficulty reading print books. Often, they need accommodations like audio, large print, or braille to make classroom and homework materials accessible. The effort and resources required to produce accessible educational materials (AEM) is significant. Teachers and librarians struggle to find textbooks and Common Core materials in accessible formats. Parents stress about support…

20 Comments

U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, now Economist, Appreciates Bookshare’s Vast Collection

“The online library helps me to stay current on in-depth issues and research for my profession,” says Tim Fallon. Four years ago, after losing much of his sight in an IED explosion in Afghanistan, Timothy Fallon, a former First Lieutenant in the U.S. Marines, learned about Bookshare at the Central Blind Rehabilitation Center at Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital. “The staff and the program at Hines for visually-impaired veterans are great,” he said. “They take the time to get to know their clients and knew that I wanted to return to college. They encouraged me to sign up for a…

Leave a Comment

Visually-Impaired Veteran Helps Peers Transition to Civilian and School Life

“Technology training, leadership empowerment, and accessible books make all the difference,” says Tim Hornik The word “awesome” doesn’t begin to describe the work of Tim Hornik, a retired U.S. Army Captain and chair of TAVVI , the Technology Association for Veterans with Visual Impairments, the technology committee in the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA). Tim is visually impaired and a long-time Bookshare member. We originally featured his work in 2014, and it’s no surprise that today he remains diligent to help returning veterans make successful transitions to civilian and school life. In our first blog, Tim was a busy new father.…

Leave a Comment

Bookshare and Assistive Technology Help Young Adult Pursue Dreams

Elina Hughes has athetoid cerebral palsy which makes it almost impossible for her to hold a book or pencil, yet this disability doesn’t stop her from pursing her dreams, acquiring knowledge, attending college, and creating beautiful works of art using two important resources: Bookshare and assistive technology (AT). In 2015, Elina and her mom, Karla Hughes, created a video, “Assistive Technology Rocks My Classroom,” to submit to President Obama for the White House Student Film Festival. This amazing mother-daughter duo are on a mission to emphasize the need for more assistive technology in the classroom and to shine a spotlight…

Leave a Comment